Scott Morrison drops huge COVID travel news
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced all Australia’s state and territories – apart from Western Australia – have agreed “on principle” to get borders open by Christmas.
Mr Morrison says that the next National Cabinet meeting was scheduled for November 13.
Leaders plan to discuss ways on potentially moving the timetable forward.
Western Australia has hard border restrictions in place while Melburnians are banned from entering every state and territory.
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan is still on the fence about reopening his state but the PM was hopeful the entire country could be reopened by late December.
“I look forward to the continuing opening up,” Mr Morrison said.
“Western Australia, there are special circumstances there. I made that very clear, the nature of our economy and how that works, the premier continues to maintain that position.
“Around the rest of the country, they have their timetables and we look forward to it opening by Christmas of this year.
“Certainly seven out of the eight states and territories will be open and that will be a great day for Australia. You never know, it might be eight.”
In his press conference on Sunday afternoon, Mr Morrison also went on to say that the National Cabinet have also agreed to increase the cap on international arrivals.
Western Australia will accept an additional 140 passengers a month from November and Queensland will accept an additional 150 Aussies.
Meanwhile, South Australia and the ACT have also agreed to ongoing support.
Tasmania offered to take overseas Aussies but does not have an international airport.
“If we needed to stand that up in order to achieve what we have set out then we will certainly do that. (Tasmania) is our first standby option. I want to think Premier Peter Guitman for working with us to achieve that,” Mr Morrison said.
“It will be similar to what we have done in the Northern Territory.”
More than 26,000 Australians are still hoping to get home from overseas.
Mr Morrison said 1278 of the 4100 Australians overseas considered to be vulnerable have made it home.
Mr Morrison said the government hoped to get all 26,000 Aussies home by Christmas.
“It is our goal to get those 26,000 Australians home that are registered by Christmas,” he said.
“Whether we achieve that is going to depend on many factors – it will depend on flights, be dependent on the continued co-operation of the states and territories.”